Today on my ride home I noticed the reappearance of something I used to see regularly in the spring but haven't seen in a while. Actually, it's someone.
A few weeks after I started riding my bike to work I passed a (presumably) homeless man pretty regularly on Limekiln Road in New Cumberland. He never bothered me (although he did shout something at me once which I couldn't make out), so I ignored him and eventually he went away. But now he's back.
It appears that he might be a migrant of some kind. He has a bicycle loaded up with all kinds of odds and ends (including what looks to be some kind of small mattress) and I usually see him at different points along the road, but always on Limekiln somewhere Between Spangler's Mill Road and Poplar Road (or is it Drive?).
Anyhow, my point is that I kind of feel like homeless people bring out the worst in me. Well, maybe not the worst - but I generally don't feel good about myself after passing one. I mean, these are people with a unique story and while we assume the worst, it may just be another "Chris McCandless" living the life of a wanderer as "Alexander Supertramp".
My point is that they're people, and when approached by a homeless person I'm more likely to treat them like a telemarketer than a person. "I'm sorry, now is just not a good time..." (okay, telemarketers are people too, and I can only hope that they hate their jobs and they're just calling people at dinnertime to make ends meet until something better comes along). But maybe someday I'll have the courage to learn something from them, or at least help them out. Because if I did run into Chris McCandless, I know he'd have some great stories to tell.